Securotopia's Privacy Software Combats 401 Worm, Protects Consumers

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Tech giants collaborate on powerful scan that unearths security breaches

Securotopia's anti-Stingray algorithm is the biggest news in privacy this decade.

When the 401 Worm began its sneak attack on Internet security, you probably didn't hear about it. Unlike its splashier counterparts, this sophisticated piece of malware didn't hold stolen data for ransom or delete files. Instead, it quietly compromised the personal data of over 125,000 Internet users within the first day. Engineers worldwide scrambled unsuccessfully to stop its spread. Now the 401 Worm has met its match: Securotopia.

Giants of the technology sector—nine companies that prefer to remain anonymous—founded Securotopia in response to multiple privacy threats; the 401 Worm is just the latest. Enormous data leaks at Target and Adobe have spooked consumers. News of government surveillance and of hacking schemes that hold data for ransom haven't helped, either: a whopping 92% of US Internet users report worrying about their privacy online (TRUSTe Privacy Index, 2014). It made sense to help people protect their own privacy.

Securotopia made its software fast, simple, and free of charge. It requires no downloads and shows no ads. Users simply enter their name and email address. The software scans thousands of Internet databases, including hidden servers containing leaked information, and safely encrypts the results. The whole process takes less than three minutes.

The software was already in the quality assurance phase when news of the 401 Worm broke. Developers and coders on loan from the nine consortium companies worked round the clock so that would launch with a built-in solution to this clever new security threat. The 401 Worm is a self-replicating program that infects Internet databases by enticing users with convenient shopping experiences and free gifts. It then harvests personal and business information: contacts, online searches, emails, credit cards, personal preferences, past history, and purchasing habits. The worm relays this data back to the creators of 401, who sell it to the highest bidder.

"Securotopia has already been successful in diverting hundreds of 401 attacks," says Information Retrieval deputy director David Helpmann. "The worm evolves constantly, but so do we." Yet 401 represents only a fraction of the security breaches Securotopia has uncovered in its first day online. Server farms around the world provide the horsepower for this massive privacy effort. Securotopia's algorithms, Helpmann promises, are smart enough to evolve in realtime to avert "hacking and meta-countersurveillance."

International privacy activist Edward Snowden, a member of the Securotopia Advisory Board, also praised the software's anti-Stingray algorithm, which protects against a surveillance technology usually deployed by law enforcement agencies. Snowden called it "the biggest news in privacy this decade."

Computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses cost individuals and businesses billions of dollars every year—to say nothing of their emotional toll on victims. The consortium states, "We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right—everyone should be able to protect their personal information." Securotopia's Mobile Protectant for iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Android will be released in May, with Google Glass to follow this summer.

On Twitter, follow #401worm for up-to-the-second news. Run the Securotopia solution free of charge at

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Jill Layton
since: 03/2014
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